DURK VALKEMA, born 1951, living in Amsterdam.
I attended the Gerrit Rietveld Academie in Amsterdam. After graduation in 1975 I became a student at the Academy of Applied Arts in Prague with prof. Stanislav Libenský and Jaroslava Brychtová.
Today, I operate in many venues, from the design and execution of my own sculptural works to engineering energy efficient glass systems and equipment for schools, studio artists in Europe, the pacific region and the U.S.
I work with both hot and cold glass to analyze the architectonic principles of form and to develop kinetic illusive games of light and shadow.
Recent work consists of large volumes of cast clear and coloured glass, composed and melted by myself.
I tell people that I am a trained artist and an untrained engineer, and I find it ironic that I have spend so much of my life involved in solving engineering problems. But the fact is, being able to think like an artist makes you a very rare kind of an engineer.
As artists--people who are inspired by visions of the possible, who are fundamentally creative, who are skilled with tools and materials--we must continue to adopt smart and creative solutions to ensure the use of glass as a free and independent medium in the arts in the 21st century.